I think there is a very different way religious and secular people see the world. Do you remember the periodic table of elements from high school chemistry?
How often do you ever think of these elements? I’m not a scientist, but I think about them a lot. If you remember, everything in on this planet is made up of these elements. Everything. The screen you are reading this on, the chair you’re sitting in, the tires on your car, the food you had for lunch, the pillow on your bed, all are made up of some combination of these elements.
I look at a tree and don’t just see a tree, I see Hydrogen, Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sulfur, Sodium, Silicon, Iron, Boron, Strontium, and Aluminum. These are the elements that make up wood. (May vary slightly depending on the tree)
Basically, when I see something, I don’t just see the object, but I am consciously aware of the fact that that object is composed of various different elements. There is nothing magical, nothing supernatural about anything.
When you pray to a wooden cross, you are praying to a group of the above mentioned elements that merely have their atoms arranged in the shape of a cross. It has no special power. The same is true for every “holy object” in the word. They are simply objects with elements and atoms. Nothing special.
The wafer you eat at communion is just a wafer, the wine is just wine, with all the elements and atoms that make up the two. There is no special magical power.